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I risked looking batty

I love to photograph creatures great and small. So after a morning game drive in Kruger National Park, South Africa, I was excited to find bats hanging from the eaves of the park's souvenir shop. My new friend Steve, a studio photographer from Manhattan, felt the same way. He told me to wait to take my photographs until he could work his magic with lighting. After thinking for a moment, he decided we could use a pillow with a white pillowcase to reflect light upward. As we headed off to find one, his wife said to me: "I'm so glad you're here, or else I'd have to help him!"

Forgetting how silly I looked, I cradled the pillow under our tiny subject. Other visitors gathered around us and started looking up into the eaves, confused by our escapade. I soon realized they thought we were trying to catch a falling bat in the pillow.

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"Oh, no," I said, "we're just taking photos ... and hoping to get the light right." By the look on their faces, I don't think they got it.

Sometimes photographers risk looking odd to get their shot. It's worth it, though. Just look at the catch light in that bat's eyes.


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